With a relatively successful, albeit questionably marketed version of the original StarCraft released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, how would StarCraft II fare on today's consoles?
Two years after the release of the original StarCraft on the PC, StarCraft 64 hit store shelves. Co-developed by Blizzard Entertainment and Mass Media Inc, the game contained all of the missions from the original game and the Brood War expansion, plus a couple of exclusive missions. While the game didn't feature online multiplayer or voiced cutscenes, it made up for those with a split-screen multiplayer mode in which two players controlled one force.
While the game was hideous graphically, gameplay-wise it remains one of the most successful PC-to-console real-time-strategy ports of all time. Could lightning strike twice?
StarCraft pushed the Nintendo 64 to its limits, requiring the 64MB memory expansion to even run the Brood War missions. Today the lines between console and PC power are much more blurry. The Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 could easily handle running the game.
The main obstacle of bringing StarCraft II to the console, from a design standpoint at least, is the controls. As we've learned time and time again, an analogue stick is not a substitute for a mouse. StarCraft II's controls aren't particularly complex, but they'd still likely be incredibly awkward. The best solution would be redesigning the controls for console play, and who has time for that?
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a StarCraft II release on consoles, however, is Blizzard's Battle.net.
From here on out, Blizzard's games are going to have Battle.net's hooks anchored deep and StarCraft II is no exception. Blizzard has made it clear time and time again that Battle.net is the future of the Blizzard community, so unless a console interface for the community was created, it's doubtful we'd ever see StarCraft II in its present form on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
You know Microsoft would make you pay extra to access it anyway.
Of course there could always be an offline port of StarCraft II, perhaps once all three single-player games have been released, but StarCraft II without online is like something amazing without the thing that makes it amazing (from the department of bad analogies). It might have worked back on the Nintendo 64, but that was before online multiplayer was really a going concern on consoles.
So a return to consoles for StarCraft seems unlikely. At least we'll always have the Saddam Hussein video.